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Helpful (8)

Westat - Not an Industry Leader in its Behavior toward Employees

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD
Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Rockville, MD

I worked at Westat

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO
Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

Pros

Healthcare benefits for a single person are cheap compared to what I've paid at other companies. My peers were great people to work with. The new gym is very nice.

Cons

Like many of its competitors, one of Westat's major weaknesses is managing people. I'd never seen this level of mismanagement before. Managers did not provide information employees needed to carry out their job duties. They did not provide feedback in a timely fashion. They were verbally abusive, and could not accept any feedback.

They certainly couldn't manage teams. Communication overall was very poor. Many times when an employee initiated contact with someone outside of their group, for the purpose of completing a work task, a manager would criticize the employee and tell her that it wasn't her job to talk to that person. There was a lot of waste of employee's time, company resources, and when confronted, managers claimed they knew nothing. Another thing, favoritism was king. Managers had their favorites, everyone knew it, and if you weren't on the list you suffered.

Watch out for review time! They will hit you with negative feedback that you knew nothing about. They tell many people at all levels that they are not performing up to expectations for their grade level. They also identify areas for improvement, that for most people were areas of strength at other jobs. The excuse - oh we do things differently here at Westat.

Do not be lulled into the promise that Westat will find you a job within Westat if your contract has ended. For the past half year they've been laying people off. They aren't winning as many contracts, and there are a lot of employees sitting around with nothing to do. They are continuing to lay people off.

Advice to Management

Invest some resources in developing management staff. Do not tell people during interviews that Westat is not like other research companies because it doesn't lay people off after a contract ends. Give employees the information they need to do their jobs. Improve your review process.

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  1. Helpful (8)

    If you want a place to show up, work 8 hours, and leave quietly, then Westat is for you.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Westat Anon in Rockville, MD
    Former Employee - Westat Anon in Rockville, MD

    I worked at Westat

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    - Decent pay
    - Decent location
    - If you're an employee of any worth, you'll get your own office
    - Not afraid to take risks on new college grads
    - Depending on your role, taking time off is not a problem (though you could almost say it can become a problem, as so many people are constantly taking time off that it's often hard to get work done, since most of the time YOUR job depends on other people doing theirs).

    Cons

    Where do I start?

    Management is hellish to work with, there's no friendliness between employees - you're expected to show up, do your work, go home, and do the same the next day. There is no social aspect to many jobs there, especially if you're tied to the computer.

    Depending on who you work under, there's a definite sense of superiority and "I can treat you like trash because I'm your boss"-ism.

    I wouldn't recommend working here. They'll gladly toss you back on your ass the moment they can.

    Oh, and their parking sucks. They're constantly doing construction, and they're more than willing to let the construction companies take up tons of parking spots (and they aren't relinquished until night) while you struggle to find one yourself.

    This is probably the most important part:
    They lie to you. I was lied about my salary, I was lied about my bonuses, and I was lied to about working to become a better employee. I was supposed to be further trained within two month of hire and never received any even two years later, even though I asked about it each month.

    Advice to Management

    Don't ridicule your employees, even if it's among a group and considered to be "friendly play" - it's not. I wasn't ridiculed in this manner (though I was in other ways) but it's completely inappropriate for the workplace.

    This company does intense "reviews" of employees each year but it seems like those delivering the reviews aren't fairly reviewed themselves.


  2. Helpful (1)

    Good place to work

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cincinnati, OH
    Current Employee - Analyst in Cincinnati, OH

    I have been working at Westat

    Approves of CEO
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Good company and fair compensation. The performance review was good, although I don't feel it was really performance based, as I saw everyone gets the same raise.

    Cons

    Employee did not have much visibility as to where the company was going, and why and how. There were not much communications about company vision.

    Advice to Management

    Provide more transpararencies on company vision to employees, so everyone share the sense of ownership. Give people opportunities to get involved in decisions.


There are newer employer reviews for Westat
There are newer employer reviews for Westat

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